PREVIEW: Chapter 2: Celebration Blowout (final book)

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Hello, Duth Olec here. The final version of Darmenzi is going to release for purchase on January 17th, 2018, and in anticipation of this I am going to post a preview of the book's first few chapters over the next few weeks! That way you can see just how much has changed and improved from the prog version up on this website, and then go out and get it once the final book releases. Oh boy!

Numer left his seat. For once, he wasn't the one holding things up. He wondered where Zeth was, though. Maybe he's still asleep. Nah, that doesn't sound like him. That sounds like me. He probably just got distracted by something and lost track of time. That sounds more like him.

The slube wogged to the end of the platform and then stopped. He felt a slight tremor below him that grew into a rumbling quake. He wobbled on his tail and waved his arms through the air.

"What's going on?" he asked, a welling panic surging through him just as he had one year ago.

"Are we having a tremor?" Cherry asked.

"Please, no; I was hoping today would go smoothly," Caleco said, hanging onto a chair.

"Well, so much for that," Cherry shouted.

The ground near the platform exploded. Numer dove to the floor, holding his arms over his head. The Transpide burst out of the ground and into the air. It crashed down and smashed half the platform.

"That was quite disturbing," Zeth screamed as rock, dirt, and sod slid from the Transpide's smooth hull.

"Well, that's a grand entrance if I've ever seen one," Cherry said.

As the dust and debris settled, a crawber floated out of the newly-formed hole and glared at the platform.

"Now who is that?" Caleco asked.

The crawber slowly, as if each word were a pain to speak, said, "Where is the crystal?"

"The crystal?" Cherry shouted.

"Who are you?" Caleco asked. "Just what is going on here?"

"I am . . ." A line of shadow appeared in front of the crawber and solidified into a staff twice his height. The crawber gripped the staff in a claw. "I am the . . ." He fell to the ground, fading in and out of shadow. "Can't hold this body . . ." The crawber turned to the black crystal in the center of town. He staggered towards it, using the staff as leverage to help him walk.

"Zeth, what is going on?" Cherry asked.

"I wish I knew," Zeth said. "I should say that's no ordinary crawber. Something happened–" A series of blasts crashed around the platform. Fire and smoke filled the air. The platform collapsed in on itself, its supports splintered and smoking. The slubes of Nottle screamed and fled.

Please be another bad dream, please be another bad dream, Numer thought, please just let that thimble with the top hat show up and prove this is a dream. He heard a splash and looked up. Three shapes emerged from the north shore that Numer had hoped to never see again.

Twice as tall as any slube stood Wrodin, a red metal sphere split in half and connected by a black cylinder, two blue-gray eyes peering out below the top half. This machine had once been abandoned junk, and advanced technology had given the machine a one-track mind. Wrodin would blow up anything in sight so long as it served Conrad's ends and sometimes even if it didn't.

Half the height of a slube floated Sawn, a buzz saw with big red eyes, their spikes large enough to carve through a tree in an instant. This fast-talking tool zipped through the air and could carve through anyone near in no time at all.

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